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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Sunday 4th

4 August 1861

Tuesday 6th

6 August 1861
5 August 1861
Monday 5th

The effect of ill news now is always to wake me a couple of hours earlier than usual with a dull sense of something unpleasant impending. After breakfast the bag of Despatches arrived and we had letters and papers. They modify a little the very worst parts of the accounts of yesterday, but leave them bad enough at that. Mr Everett and Charles both mention a report that the advance was made against the judgement of General Scott, by a direct order of the President in deference to the opinion of the country. I am afraid that this is weak point of Mr Lincoln. It has already plunged us twice before into difficulties, and it bids fair to ruin us in the end. This folly has cost us much already and will cost us more. Scott’s campaign is ruined, and the business of reconstruction is difficult. And the President will be persuaded to defeat any new one just as he has done the old. The prospect is not brilliant. We had fixed on this day to go out and see the Chrystal palace at Sydenham, and I was not sorry to get something to divert my thoughts. Our party consisted of Mr and Mrs Brooks, and our family with the exception of Henry. We got to the palace before noon, and staid there until half past five. Altogether too short a period to master the great variety of things worth seeing. What attracted me the most was the plan of the Pompeian Villa which for the first time gave me a clear notion of the interior of a Roman dwelling of the better class. I was204 likewise pleased with the copy of the court of the Alhambra, in the Moresque style. Then the Greek sculptures, and last of all the peculiar and strange ornamentation of the middle ages. All the best specimens in the various forms have been carefully copied and set up here. The accessories are also very well prepared and in good taste, with as small an admixture of trash as could reasonably be expected. The day was quite warm and summerlike, and we were quite fatigued at the end of our rambles in this enormous place. The train brought us back and the carriage landed us at our door a little before seven. In the evening we had a visit from Mrs Emmons and her son, who have come from America to make a little tour. I was glad to retire to bed.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA61d217